IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cdl/econwp/qt6f15n0h0.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Sovereign Risk, Credibility and the Gold Standard: 1870-1913 versus 1925-31

Author

Listed:
  • Obstfeld, Maurice
  • Taylor, Alan M.

Abstract

What determines sovereign risk? We study the London bond market from the 1870s to the 1930s. Our findings support conventional wisdom concerning the low credibility of the interwar gold standard. Before 1914 gold standard adherence effectively signalled credibility and shaved up to 30 basis points from country borrowing spreads. In the 1920s, however, simply resuming prewar gold parities was insufficient to secure benefits. Countries that devalued before resumption were treated more favorably, and markets scrutinized other signals. Public debt and British Empire membership were important determinants of spreads after World War One, but not before.

Suggested Citation

  • Obstfeld, Maurice & Taylor, Alan M., 2003. "Sovereign Risk, Credibility and the Gold Standard: 1870-1913 versus 1925-31," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6f15n0h0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt6f15n0h0
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/6f15n0h0.pdf;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter L. Rousseau & Richard Sylla, 2003. "Financial Systems, Economic Growth, and Globalization," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 373-416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 2003. "Globalization and Capital Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 121-188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Smith, Gregor W. & Smith, R. Todd, 1997. "Greenback-Gold Returns and Expectations of Resumption, 1862–1879," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 697-717, September.
    4. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234, Elsevier.
    5. Christopher M. Meissner, 2002. "A New World Order: Explaining the Emergence of the Classical Gold Standard," NBER Working Papers 9233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Allan Drazen & Paul R. Masson, 1994. "Credibility of Policies Versus Credibility of Policymakers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 735-754.
    7. Michael Bordo & Michael Edelstein, 1999. "Was Adherence to the Gold Standard a "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" During the Interwar Period?," NBER Working Papers 7186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Matthew T. Jones & Maurice Obstfeld, 1997. "Saving, Investment, and Gold: A Reassessment of Historical Current Account Data," NBER Working Papers 6103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. G. R. Hawke, 1975. "Income Estimation From Monetary Data: Further Explorations," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 21(3), pages 301-307, September.
    10. Flandreau, Marc & Sussman, Nathan, 2004. "Old Sins: Exchange Rate Clauses and European Foreign Lending in the 19th Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 4248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Bordo Michael D. & Kydland Finn E., 1995. "The Gold Standard As a Rule: An Essay in Exploration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 423-464, October.
    12. Michael D. Bordo & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Globalization in Historical Perspective," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bord03-1, June.
    13. Thomas J. Sargent, 1981. "Stopping moderate inflations: the methods of Poincaré and Thatcher," Working Papers 1, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    14. Michael D. Bordo, 1995. "The Gold Standard as a `Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval'," NBER Working Papers 5340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Bordo, Michael D. & Jonung, Lars, 1994. "Monetary Regimes, Inflation and Monetary Reform: An Essay in Honor of Axel Leijonhufvud," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 16, Stockholm School of Economics.
    16. Peter Temin, 1991. "Lessons from the Great Depression," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262700441.
    17. Hawke, G R, 1975. "Income Estimation from Monetary Data: Further Explorations," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 21(3), pages 301-307, September.
    18. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    19. Michael D. Bordo & Alan M. Taylor & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2003. "Introduction to "Globalization in Historical Perspective"," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 1-10, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Maurice Obstfeld & Alan M. Taylor, 2003. "Globalization and Capital Markets," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 121-188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Michael D. Bordo & Marc Flandreau, 2003. "Core, Periphery, Exchange Rate Regimes, and Globalization," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 417-472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lazaretou, Sophia, 2005. "The drachma, foreign creditors, and the international monetary system: tales of a currency during the 19th and the early 20th centuries," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 202-236, April.
    4. Bordo, Michael & James, Harold, 2014. "The European Crisis in the Context of the History of Previous Financial Crises," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 275-284.
    5. Volosovych, Vadym, 2011. "Measuring financial market integration over the long run: Is there a U-shape?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1535-1561.
    6. Bordo, Michael D., 2008. "Growing up to Financial Stability," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-17.
    7. Sophia Lazaretou, 2004. "The Drachma, Foreign Creditors and the International Monetary System: Tales of a Currency during the 19th and the Early 20th Century," Working Papers 16, Bank of Greece.
    8. Papadia, Andrea, 2017. "Sovereign defaults during the Great Depression: the role of fiscal fragility," Economic History Working Papers 68943, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    9. Marc Flandreau & Juan H. Flores & Norbert Gaillard & Sebastián Nieto-Parra, 2010. "The End of Gatekeeping: Underwriters and the Quality of Sovereign Bond Markets, 1815-2007," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2009, pages 53-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Alan M. Taylor, 2002. "Globalization, Trade, and Development: Some Lessons From History," NBER Working Papers 9326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Arola, Mika, 2006. "Foreign capital and Finland : central government's firstperiod of reliance on international financial markets 1862-1938," Scientific Monographs, Bank of Finland, number 37/2006.
    12. Edgar Demetrio Tovar García, 2012. "Financial globalization and financial development in Latin America," Revista Cuadernos de Economía, Universidad Nacional de Colombia -FCE - CID, August.
    13. Murard, Elie, 2017. "Less Welfare or Fewer Foreigners? Immigrant Inflows and Public Opinion towards Redistribution and Migration Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 10805, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Officer, Lawrence H., 2002. "The U.S. Specie Standard, 1792-1932: Some Monetarist Arithmetic," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 113-153, April.
    15. Tsun Se Cheong & Yanrui Wu, 2013. "Globalization and Regional Inequality," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 13-10, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    16. Kris James Mitchener & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2005. "Supersanctions and Sovereign Debt Repayment," NBER Working Papers 11472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Susanto Basu & Alan M. Taylor, 1999. "Business Cycles in International Historical Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 45-68, Spring.
    18. Esteves, Rui Pedro & Reis, Jaime & Ferramosca, Fabiano, 2009. "Market Integration in the Golden Periphery. The Lisbon/London Exchange, 1854-1891," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 324-345, July.
    19. Harris Dellas & George S. Tavlas, 2013. "The Gold Standard, the Euro, and the Origins of the Greek Sovereign Debt Crisis," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 33(3), pages 491-520, Fall.
    20. Edgar Demetrio Tovar, 2011. "Globalización financiera y sus efectos sobre el desarrollo financiero," Revista ESPE - Ensayos Sobre Política Económica, Banco de la República - ESPE, vol. 29(66), pages 80-127, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gold standard; sovereign risk; credibility; monetary regimes; exchange rates;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt6f15n0h0. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ibbrkus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Lisa Schiff (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ibbrkus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.